BOSTON, MA — When it comes to optimal nutrition, men and women have
different considerations. The distinctions are subtle, but they may
affect a man's health, reports the September issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch. Here are some of the differences:
Monounsaturated fats are healthful for both men and women; olive oil is
a good source. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are also good for
both sexes. But a vegetable-based omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA), found in canola and flaxseed oils, may be a problem for men. ALA
is good for the heart, but some studies suggest it may increase the
risk of prostate cancer. For men with heart risks, ALA may be a good
choice—but men with more reason to worry about prostate cancer should
get their omega-3s from fish and their vegetable fats from olive oil.
In both men and women, low alcohol intake appears to reduce the risk of
heart attacks and certain strokes, while larger amounts increase the
risk of many ills. But while drinking responsibly doesn't seem to cause
any health problems for average men, even low doses of alcohol may
increase a woman's risk of breast cancer.
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